'You have legitimate concerns about the further underperformance and
deterioration of shareholder value.'
ANAHEIM, Calif., Nov. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This week, thousands of Taft-Hartley and union health benefit and pension fund trustees and administrators are in Anaheim, California, for the annual International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans conference. The conference is considered a premier marketing opportunity for health and investment management vendors-- Rite Aid Health Solutions will be there along with Caremark, Medco and other PBMs competing for billions of dollars in union business.
While Rite Aid Health Solutions, the company's pharmacy benefit management unit, is looking to organized labor to expand business and help the company compete in the burgeoning mail order pharmaceutical sector, labor unions have big concerns. They expressed those concerns in the following letter that was sent to industry analysts across the USA and in Canada.
Here is the letter:
November 5. 2007
RE: Rite Aid Update
To All Interested Parties:
In recent months, followers of Rite Aid's stock have watched its price reach lows for the year. While many analysts had anticipated the difficulties of the Eckerd/Brooks integration, most did not expect Rite Aid management would choose to exacerbate integration problems by escalating a fight with its unionized workforce.
At present, approximately 25,000 Rite Aid pharmacists, technicians, front- end, and warehouse workers have union representation. These unions - the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the International Brotherhood of Teamsters - collectively represent over 5 million U.S. workers.
Rite Aid Health Solutions, the company's pharmacy benefit management unit, is looking to organized labor to expand business and help the company compete in the burgeoning mail order pharmaceutical sector. This week, thousands of Taft-Hartley and union health and pension fund trustees and administrators are in Anaheim, California, for the annual International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans conference. This conference is considered a premier marketing opportunity for health and investment management vendors, and Rite Aid Health Solutions will be there along with Caremark, Medco and other PBMs competing for billions of dollars in union business.
Among conference participants, Rite Aid is sure to tout itself as a union- friendly company. However, our unions will be there in force to set the record straight on the company's recent assaults on workers' rights. For months, Rite Aid has failed to comply with legally-binding contractual language governing the rights of workers in newly acquired stores and has waged a union-avoidance campaign in California among warehouse workers seeking representation through the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU).
To get the word out about Rite Aid's recent anti-union actions, SEIU, UFCW and ILWU welcomed hundreds of trustees at a reception on the conference's opening night. Throughout the week, we are distributing information and encouraging union trustees and administrators to question Rite Aid's actions and encourage them to not do business with the company until it starts doing right by its workers.
Today, Rite Aid is at a critical juncture. The company's future is riding on the success of the acquisition, the growth of its PBM business, emergence from the scandals that plagued the company in the past, and improving same store sales during the upcoming holiday season. Rite Aid is already on thin ice; it can ill-afford to put it all at risk by antagonizing its workforce.
We are fully committed to upholding the legally-binding contractual rights of Rite Aid and Eckerd Brooks workers and will not stop until we are satisfied that Rite Aid is on the right track for its workers, and in turn, its customers.
Needless to say, if Rite Aid continues on its current course, investors may have legitimate concerns about further underperformance and deterioration of shareholder value.
If you have further questions on this matter or would like additional information, please feel free to contact Yvonne Armstrong, 1199SEIU Executive Vice President, 212-261-2311.
Executive Vice President
cc: Industry analysts; industry press
The conference will continue from Sunday through November 7 at the Anaheim Convention Center Yvonne Armstrong of 1199SEIU said, "We're asking all conference attendees to stop by Rite Aid's booth and tell them to think twice about trusting them with their business until they do the right thing."
http://www.riteaidinsider.com discusses issues of concern to investors, consumers, and seniors.
http://www.riteaidworkerstogether.org discusses issues of concern to Rite Aid, Eckerd and Brooks employees
|SOURCE 1199SEIU; UFCW; ILWU|
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